Conditions & Treatments
Back & Neck Pain Treatment
Millions of Americans experience back and neck pain, which can limit a person’s ability to work and do the things that they enjoy in life. Getting the right diagnosis in these cases makes a difference in the treatment plan as well as the quality of recovery. In all of these instances, patients seek-out physicians at OSS Health for help in resolving their pain.
Meet The OSS Health Spine Team
- Michael B. Furman, MS, MD.
- James J. Gilhool, DO
- Paul S. Lin, MD
- Shannon Schultz, MD
- Brian D. Steinmetz, DO
- Brady Wahlberg, DO
Pain Management Fellows
Back pain is one of the most common medical complaints among adults and some studies have shown that almost 80% of adults will experience back pain at some point in their life. Most cases of back pain are caused by overuse or a muscle strain and the good news is that most cases of back pain will subside on their own after rest and temporary activity modification.
In most cases, neck pain is caused by a sprain or strain to one of the muscles in the cervical spine and the good news is that most cases of neck pain will subside on its own after rest and temporary activity modification.
Sciatica is one of the most commonly mentioned spinal conditions and describes pain that originates in the lower back and radiates into the buttocks, the back of the legs and into the feet. The sciatic nerve is the longest continuous nerve in the body, beginning in the lower back and extending into the legs. Sciatica is a term used to describe pain but is not an actual diagnosis and is instead a symptom of an underlying condition that is causing pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Disc Disease is a common term used for several conditions of the spine that occur to the intervertebral discs of the spine with age. As we age, the intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers in the spine lose some of their fluid content and therefore decrease in size and height. The combination of age and wear and tear may cause the discs to weaken, herniate or become thinner. Osteoarthritis, Sciatica and Spinal Stenosis may also develop as a result of Degenerative Disc Disease.
The spinal canal is formed by adjacent vertebrae of the spine and the spinal cord runs through the spinal canal as it branches out to innervate the muscles and extremities throughout the body. Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar or lower back region of the spine. In most cases, spinal stenosis is the result of the aging process as the ligaments of the spine begin to thicken and cause the spinal canal to become narrow.
Scoliosis is a spinal deformity that causes either an S-shaped or C-shaped curvature of the spine. The condition is commonly seen in adolescents but can also develop progressively as an adult. In some cases, Scoliosis causes no other symptoms other than those that can be seen as physical imbalances (curvature of the spine, misalignment of hips, misalignment of shoulders). However, in other cases, Scoliosis may cause pain and other issues such as the compression of internal organs.
Cervical Radiculopathy is a term used to describe the pain that originates in the neck but radiates into the shoulders, arms or fingers. This condition is not a diagnosis but a symptom of an underlying condition that is compressing a nerve in the cervical spine. When the nerve is compressed pain signals travel from the nerve root in the spine into the extremities.
Within the cervical spine, there are 7 spinal vertebrae with nerves extending outward and each vertebra is cushioned by spinal discs. Cervical myelopathy occurs when the spinal cord itself is compressed by a spinal disc or a piece of bone in the spine.
The natural curvature of the spine, known as lordosis, is important for stability and balance. When one area of the spine becomes too curved it can create a visible “hunch” in the spine as well as other symptoms and is known as kyphosis. Typically, kyphosis causes no other symptoms other than a visible hunch and requires only monitoring by your OSS Health Spine Specialist. However, if kyphosis progresses it can cause several painful symptoms.
Facet Joint Syndrome
The facet joints are the two bony attachments at the back of each vertebrae in the spine that allow for mobility and flexibility of the spine. Like many joints within the body, the facet joints are susceptible to degenerative changes due to arthritis. When arthritis affects the facet joints, the joints lose cartilage and can cause inflammation, thickening of the joints, pain and the formation of small bone spurs. This inflammation can cause pressure on the nerves that exit the spine, which is known as Facet Joint Syndrome.
Spondylosis, which is often referred to as spine osteoarthritis or spine arthritis, is a common spine condition, especially in the older population. Spondylosis is a condition that causes inflammation of the bones and soft tissues of the spine, which results in pain and decreased function of the spine. As the condition progresses, more inflammation occurs and it becomes more difficult to move the spine.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition characterized by a misalignment of the vertebrae and is usually the result of a severely weakened vertebra due to a stress fracture. This fracture causes the vertebrae to weaken and shift from its normal anatomic position. The condition is common among young athletes that compete in high impact sports such as gymnastics, football and hockey. Athletes who participate in sports that require lots of twisting, turning, bending, and jumping are most at risk.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery uses small incisions (about 1-2 inches) to access damaged spinal discs or vertebrae without the need for large amounts of muscle dissection or trauma to the structures surrounding the spine. Once the incisions are made, real-time X-ray (known as fluoroscopy) and small surgical instruments are used to repair damaged spinal discs or vertebrae as well as decompress spinal nerves.
Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion
Open incision spinal fusion procedures have been performed for many years; however recent advancements in spine surgery at OSS Health have allowed our Board Certified Spine Surgeons to perform spinal fusion procedures in a minimally invasive manner. With this technique, a smaller incision is used, less surgical trauma is caused and recovery is much quicker.
Minimally Invasive Cervical Fusion
Minimally Invasive Laminectomy
A Minimally Invasive Laminectomy (also known as a Spinal Decompression) is a procedure used to relieve the pain from a pinched nerve in the spine or Spinal Stenosis. This is done by removing part of the spinal vertebrae, known as the lamina, so that the spinal nerve can be decompressed and pain can be relieved.
Minimally Invasive Discectomy
A Minimally Invasive Discectomy (Microdiscectomy) is a new surgical procedure that uses a very small incision (usually less than one inch), a microscope and small surgical tools to remove portions of the intervertebral disc(s) that are compressing the spinal nerves in the lower back.
Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement
A Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) is an innovative procedure used to treat damaged discs in the cervical spine that are causing neck pain as well as pain and numbness in the extremities. Similar to a hip or knee replacement procedure, the goal of a Cervical ADR is to use an implant that mimics the function of a healthy spinal disc and also allows for range of motion in the neck. Unlike a traditional spinal fusion, no plates or screws are attached to the spine and thus motion of the cervical spine is preserved.
Revision Spine Surgery
Revision spine surgery is sometimes needed to correct issues that resulted from previous spine surgery. Although uncommon, screws, plates or other implants used in a prior surgery can cause pain or other symptoms. This is primarily due to either the spine not healing correctly after surgery or the implants themselves were not placed correctly.
Rhizotomy & Radiofrequency Ablation
Sacroiliac Joint Fusion
A Sacroiliac Joint Fusion, also known as an SI Fusion, is a minimally invasive procedure used to stabilize the sacroiliac joint by using small bone implant and screws to fixate the joint in place. This fixation alleviates the pain caused by Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.
Many spinal conditions can be treated using non-surgical treatment options and one of the most common is injection therapy. Although there are many types of injections, most of these injections target the spinal nerve and reduce irritation to the nerve by bathing the nerve in a steroid and/or anesthetic medication. This reduction in irritation often leads to long term relief from chronic back or neck pain.
Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Epidural Steroid Injection
An Epidural Steroid Injection is a needle-based procedure used to treat pain related to spinal nerve compression and/or nerve inflammation. The goal of this procedure is to use a mix of corticosteroids and anesthetic medications to decrease the inflammation of spinal nerves that are causing localized pain in the back or neck as well as pain that radiates into the extremities.
Facet Joint Injection
Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty (also known as a Balloon Kyphoplasty) are minimally invasive procedures used to treat spinal compression fractures which are usually the result of osteoporosis or an accident.